From the forested mountains of Appalachia to the rolling green valleys, West Virginia is the mountain state of the Eastern region of the U.S. that you won’t want to ignore. West Virginia is well known for its wide scope of outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and whitewater rafting. It is also the only state that lies completely within the Appalachian Mountain range, giving it its nickname The Mountain State.
It is a smaller state, at least population-wise, boasting about 1.8 million in the 2020 census. With its low population and stunning mountainscapes, West Virginia is an affordable place to build the mountain home of your dreams.
When it comes to climate considerations for building a house in West Virginia, there are a few things to keep in mind. With its wide range of mountains, West Virginia is one of the largest coal mining regions in the world. The mountainous landscape raises some concerns about building homes. Typically, in the more mountainous regions of the state, there is a scarcity of plateaus and large spaces between mountains. Most houses in the rural mountain regions are built along rivers and creeks where the land tends to be flatter – or on top of hills where the land is easier to level. However, if you are building in a city, you’ll likely have less trouble as much of the land is already cleared.
The weather in West Virginia is rather temperate. It has distinct seasons of roughly equal length; the summers are humid and warm, and during the crisp winter months, Mother Nature dispenses a lovely snowfall or two. The state doesn’t receive as much snow as the frigid New England states, giving West Virginia a seasonal climate worth boasting about.
The cost per square foot to build a custom home in West Virginia ranges from about $92 to $137. This will also depend on factors like the affordability of your city and the selections you make for your home.
In West Virginia and nationwide, custom homes come with a higher price tag than production homes. A custom home is exactly that, fully custom and fully yours. You and your builder go through the process together as you select every detail of your home. A production home is similar and still gives you that new home feel, but you don’t have to go through the strenuous selection process. The items are preselected, removing all the stress of selections!
West Virginia’s abundance of mountains will pose certain difficulties related to homebuilding. However, the eastern panhandle is generally easier to build on, as the land is flatter.
West Virginia is a mostly rural state which means that in many regions and cities, there are no official homebuilding guidelines. So, the biggest difference in building in rural rather than urban land is the permitting and documentation that is required in more populated cities. Of course, your builder will help you through the permit process.
Cost of materials and labor across the state of West Virginia varies. However, in the capital city of Charleston, you’ll find the cost to build a home with standard grade construction to range from $90 to $130 per square foot.
Overall, the average price of land is $280,903 but this varies. Once you have found a lot and place you love, it will be time to hire a homebuilder. While some places in West Virginia will allow you to build independently, it is still wise to seek out a homebuilder for the quick and safe completion of your home.
The permits and paperwork you need for your home will depend entirely on your city. In West Virginia, homeowners are exempt from the requirement of being a licensed contractor – if they work on their own house. Other than that, building permits for a one- or two-family dwelling are required.
Here are some tips that will help you make the most of the homebuilding process in this Appalachian State.
A vital part of building the perfect house in West Virginia is finding a great parcel of land. Luckily, there is plenty to spare in this state. First, consider how much you are willing to spend or better yet what percentage of your budget you want to go towards land.
Next, consider the slope. Flatland is rare, so seek out what types of homes would sit better on certain slopes. This way, you won’t need to spend a fortune clearing and flattening land. The location of your land will also dictate how close you are to the necessary utility taps. If you need to extend these lines further be prepared for an additional expense.
With so many beautiful places to choose from, it will not be hard to find a city that you love in West Virginia. You’ll find that its rural flavor blends with its natural simplicity to create a stunning landscape. There are plenty of affordable and safe cities, so choosing West Virginia will be an easy decision. Also, there are cities for all stages of life – whether you are ready for your retirement years or building your first home.
Get ready: the mountain state is calling your name! Your new home is only a few short steps away.
Mia Zozobrado joined Builders Digital Experience (BDX) in 2019 as a content writer. A graduate of Southwestern University with a degree in English, Mia is passionate about the written word and making connections. Outside of work, Mia also serves on the Board of Directors for the Writers’ League of Texas.